Summer Fruits Red Wine Jelly

Serves: 6
Cost: ~€3
Preparation time: ~30 minutes + 24 hours
Calories: ~150-200

Jelly, or “Jello” as you may know it, gets a bad rap. Ridiculed by some who are convinced that it is one of the few desserts we have to offer in England – that and spotted dick of course – and scorned by other people who associate it purely with those obnoxious colouring, preservative, and artificial sweetener loaded offerings from many stores, it hasn’t fared well in the past 15 years or so! It’s true that many people associate the wibbly-wobbly goodness with childrens’ birthday parties but despite that, its reputation is not deserved. On a hot summer’s day, you can’t beat something like this. Cool, easy to eat, and refreshing, and now it’s time for the humble jelly to “come of age” a bit.

I don’t drink much, but I like cooking with wine so what better ingredient to use to make a jelly. Now I didn’t want the jelly to be completely intoxicating, so it needed to be diluted with something. I chose grape juice for this, though you can equally use another type of juice, other types of wine and so forth. Well, to be honest you can even omit the wine if you’re not a fan – it still makes a delicious dessert (and rather more child-friendly!) – although the wine does give it a delicious kick!

Red wine Jelly

One could be forgiven for thinking that the “pattern” on top of the jelly was on purpose – in fact, I forgot to submerge the jelly in warm water for a few minutes before turning out of the dish and it sheared away from the bowl, leaving a layer still in the bottom. I’m glad this happened though, because a lot of bitter sediment from the grape juice had gathered there which would have spoiled the appearance of the final dish!

As for the setting agent – I used gelatin. It was actually my first time working with gelatin and it took me a while to figure out the quantities because it’s, surprisingly, not written on the packet. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 sheet per 100ml of liquid that you wish to set. Gelatin is sold in different strengths, though most of the gelatin which is destined for home use is apparently the same strength so theoretically you shouldn’t need to worry so much about this. I’ve heard that gelatin sheets are usually only sold in Europe, and it’s sold in powder form in the US and Canada. If you can only get powder you’ll need to research how this should be used as I’m not familiar with it at all.
# Use 1 envelope (1 tablespoon or 1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin to 2 cups of water for standard firmness. Decrease or increase water for your particular needs. One 3-ounce package of flavored, sweetened gelatin needs 2 cups of water. One tablespoon of unflavored powdered gelatin equals 4 sheets of leaf gelatin.
– Thanks to A_Boleyn for the tip!

If you decide to give this a try, don’t use pineapple, kiwi or mango – (possibly peach, nectarine and apricot too?) which contain an enzyme which prevent the jelly from setting. I recommend it though; the dessert is easy and simple to prepare and just needs a good 24 hours to set, so you can make it in advance!

I wanted to tell you all as well that I’m very happy because today I received something from a local miller. I’ve long been quick to complain about the astonishingly boring selection of flours in French stores, and a colleague of mine pointed me towards a website of a company which supplies bakeries in the region with flours. I was like a kid in a candy store – I saw that they sell pearl sugar, and a I bought a giant tub of glucose syrup (I’ll post something using that in the not too distant future!) but the most exciting thing was the flour… oh the flour!


Counter-clockwise from bottom left – Linseed flour, quinoa flour, chickpea flour, sweet chestnut flour, spelt flour, kamut flour (and now that I type “kamut” into my address bar, I notice in my browsing history that Kelly has used this flour once before here). I can’t wait to get stuck into those!

Anyway – I’ll leave you all for now with the recipe! Have a great day everyone :)

Summer Fruits Red Wine Jelly

[learn_more caption=”Video Recipe”]



Red wine Jelly ingredients

  • Enough fresh berries to fill a large bowl of your choice by one third
  • Enough liquid (mixture of juice and wine) to fill the bowl up on top of the berries
  • 1 sheet of gelatin per 100ml of liquid, rounded up
  • ~100g Caster Sugar, depending on personal preferences


  1. Start off by drawing a large container of cold water and carefully submerge the gelatin sheets inside and allow them to soften up for five minutes. While the gelatin is soaking, wash, trim and cut up the fruit into small pieces and transfer to the basin that you’ll make the jelly in.
    Soaking the gelatin sheets
  2. Place all the liquid into a large pan and pour in the sugar. Heat gently while stirring and when the sugar is completely dissolved transfer in the gelatin, sheet by sheet, stirring between each addition. Be sure not to bring the liquid to the boil.
    Mixing the gelatin with the liquid
  3. Pour the liquid over the strawberries and allow to cool before covering and placing into the refrigerator. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to set.
    Leaving the jelly to set
  4. If you wish to turn the jelly out, hold in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes before covering with a plate and turning upside down. Enjoy on its own or with a good ol’ scoop of ice-cream!
    Red wine Jelly

    Red wine Jelly


    • says

      No, not really sweet at all, but I ended up using almost a litre of liquid – you might need to adjust the sugar accordingly if you use less or more!

  1. says

    Hi, Charles. With the wine use you might convince me to try making jelly once in my life… Jelly desserts are also popular in other countries (not only Britain) and I have always hated them (typically in my childhood days it was often a cold cheesecake topping or cut into pieces and served in a glass, a bit like Eton mess with fruits, whipped cream (I don’t really like either) etc.
    The wine version looks intriguing enough to try it one day! (I have already been meaning to make a jelly shot I saw in a shot recipes book someone offered me), so this one seems very close.
    I am happy you have ordered these flours, but I have good news: all these flours (I even recognise the same brands) are sold in French organic shops. Unless, you don’t have an organic shop nearby of course…
    As for the jelly setting I’m pretty sure peaches can be used without any problems, but you could add papaya to the non-setting list. The fruits that stop the jelly from setting do this only when they are raw (when I make a pineapple jam it sets without any problems because pineapple is cooked).
    Gelatin in powder is sold only in some European countries. I hate it! Luckily here they sell both. Gelatin in powder is easier to use (you don’t have to soak it) and I always wonder why so many countries stick to the leaves, which for me are like an ancient version of gelatin… When I went to Budapest two years ago I went to a supermarket and bought 10 packages of gelatin in powder because I was so happy to find it!

    • says

      Hi Sissi – I think I’ve seen the brand too, but never any “speciality” flours. The most exotic I’ve seen is the spelt flour, so to find linseed, quinoa and sweet chestnut was a real surprise for me. Again, I guess it depends on the region. I have some organic stores near me and the last time I was in there they didn’t have such a good selection!

      Thanks for the tips about the fruits, I’ll remember that for next time too! As for gelatin powder – I never used it myself, but I read only disadvantages of using it, in that there’s a higher chance of having undissolved granules of gelatin in the final product, which never happens with the sheets. For me the sheets seem very efficient – they just need some water for a few minutes… it’s not a big problem for me 😀

      • says

        Hi Charles, I have never had undissolved gelatin problems (it has to be dissolved in hot water before being mixed with anything). I suppose people who are used to leaves prefer them.

        • says

          Huh, if it needs to be dissolved in hot water before mixing with hot water first, to me it actually seems even less easy to use than sheet gelatin but maybe I’ll have to use powdered gelatin one day and then reconsider what I think of it!

  2. says

    I know it’s not cool to disclose this but I actually really like jelly! I must track down a recipe I found a few years ago for berries put in a really tall mould and you made a jelly from gelatin and champagne that you poured over them and it presented so beautifully. I’m sure it would be similar to what you have made. Congrats on a great dessert – this is just lovely! And I love those flours too. What a great time you will have with them sorting out how best to use them. Looking forward to some great recipes! xx

    • says

      Yay, another person who loves jelly – I love slurping it between my tongue and the roof of my mouth, I love the squelch it makes when you spoon it out of the bowl the first time… and if you have a sore throat it’s the perfect food! Cooling and easy on the way down! 😀

      I love the sound of that champagne jelly – sounds really great… just need to find a tall mould! 😀

  3. says

    I love jelly and this looks beautiful! And love all the packets of flour too. FUnnily enogh, when I was working in Paris about 10 years ago there were a lot of young guys in the office who always asked me to bring back cubes of jelly (to make up) and tubs of ready made jelly. It seems they had eaten and enjoyed it in the UK but couldn´t (at the point) find it in France! I suppose they would not have thought of making it your way 😉

  4. Charlie says

    Morning Charles!

    This looks go good!

    I like jello and love fruit so this recipe will be no hardship for me :~D

    Thanks for sharing

    Have a Joyful Day!


  5. says

    Charles, this is utterly cool – like an adult version of dressed-up jello. I have never seen anything quite like this before and that’s part of the reason I like your blog so much – you always introduce me to new ideas and ways of doing things, which is awesome. I also just love the title… summer fruits jelly… mmmm….how could you not get a little weak in the knees hearing that ;-).

    • says

      Hehe, thanks Kelly – I was bummed I couldn’t find raspberries (I prefer those to strawberries and I love how the jelly gets inside the raspberries too!). I’m so glad I could show you something different… I hope you decide to give it a go sometime – you can make it with pretty much any juice, you don’t even need to add sugar – just some beautiful fruit for a wibbly-wobbly treat 😀

  6. says

    How whimsical Charles! I love it!!! I haven’t had a good jello in years, let alone attempted to make my own. I’ve never worked with gelatin either, so I’ll have to look into this. I can just imagine the combination of flavors and fruits you could work with. And so glad you found some good flour – no doubt you’ll be whipping up some more delicious bread. :)

    • says

      Thanks Kristy – the last time I had some jelly/jello was from a packet of jelly which is like concentrated jelly. You dissolve the cubes in a quantity of water and it flavours and sets overnight. It was pretty manky because it was some nasty sugar-free, aspartame filled junk so these days I make my own. Great to make for days when you have a sore throat too because it’s so easy to eat :)

  7. says

    The only flour I’ve had any experience with on your list is the chickpea flour also called besan if you’re looking for recipes on using it. Are you planning on making halwa with it or one of the Indian sweets like ladoo.

    As to the wine jelly, I’ve always wanted to make wineshots but I rarely have leftover wine in the house for experimentation. Oh and on the leaf vs powder question, I found this note in my records.

    # Use 1 envelope (1 tablespoon or 1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin to 2 cups of water for standard firmness. Decrease or increase water for your particular needs. One 3-ounce package of flavored, sweetened gelatin needs 2 cups of water. One tablespoon of unflavored powdered gelatin equals 4 sheets of leaf gelatin.

    • says

      Hi A_Boleyn, thanks for the gelatin tip – I’ll update my post in a bit with that info for anyone who happens along and wonders about it! As for the flours – I used some of the chestnut flour today which was absolutely amazing… nutty, mild and delicious. I’ll post the dish next week. As for the chickpea flour – I was hoping to make some poppadoms, although I need to read up a bit about those. I might try something with the quinoa flour tomorrow… not sure what though. I feel almost overwhelmed, suddenly having all these exciting things available to me 😀

      • says

        RE: Poppadums … they’re supposed to be so challenging to make properl ythat everyone buys the pre-made ones and just fries them up. :)

        Sounds like you’re going to have a lot of fun with your various flours.

    • says

      Thanks Yudith – my version actually ended up being quite boozy in the end, lol. I was feeling a bit tipsy after I finished off the bowl the next day 😀

  8. says

    I actually like the “pattern” on the top of your jello, reminds me of seashells. I am not a jello person, but with the wine, hmmm, I may just give it a try.

  9. says

    I’m with Norma….I thought the pattern was some fancy seashell mould and was going to comment on it! :) Interestingly I just had a jelly at a restaurant in Alabama…there are some jello dessert holdouts in the South still, and it reminded me that it can be a really lovely dessert or salad. This one had strawberries, too, which are especially good with the jelly. I LOVE the idea of the red wine…maybe it’s time for a comeback for this particular dessert! Am quite jealous of your selection of flour now, especially the chickpea. Happy baking!

    • says

      Hi Betsy – definitely… it’s such a light dessert… you can make it into any shape and size and so many flavours. A lot of fun and cool and refreshing too. I’ve never heard of it being in a salad – got any recipes?

      • says

        Hi Charles, I do have many old fashioned recipes for jelled salads and aspics. Now I feel inspired to try some of them and modernize a bit. I’ll share when I do! Thanks!

      • Rechelle says

        Hi Charles! I ran into your website today when looking for a way to use my ripe bananas that didn’t take me hours. While exploring, (and eating my grilled cinnamon banana) I ran into this post and thought I would share my expertise. :) I grew up in the great state of Utah, USA. For some reason, we are known for Jello. I have absolutely no idea why. I’m pretty sure our state food is Jello. When we hosted the winter Olympics in 2002, one of the collectable pins being sold was a picture of a bowl of green jello. Don’t even ask me why. Anyways, we have a lot of jello in my house, because it is fast, easy, and I have 5 brothers who love it. They love to make it in Jello molds, bite size and easy, and in layers for special occasions. For example, when I was 9 or 10, I made a Independence day one in red, white, and blue. Just poor it in a pan, let it set, then pour the next layer on, and so on. I’ve had 10 layer jellos at parties, and they are a lot of fun. Just put it in a cake pan and “frost” it with whipped cream. I opened up a neighborhood cookbook with probably less than 100 recipes in it, and found 8 jello salad recipes right off. One of my favorites is what we call “jello fluff”. Make the jello according to the packaging, and let it cool, but not set. Fold in a few cups of whipped cream. I like to do it with orange jello and mandarin oranges. It will end up a light orange color. I think you can do it with some marshmallow fluff too…not totally sure on that one. Then stick it in the fridge until it sets up. Easy and delicious! I’ve got about a million jello salad recipes, but I’m sure you could find even more on google, especially if you search something like “LDS jello salad recipes”. :) Thanks for providing my dessert for the night!

  10. says

    Hi Charles,
    This looks amazing and as always you have introduced me to some thing new.! I didn’t know one could get gelatin sheets. That’s pretty cool. Your dessert looks wonderful especially with the addition of red wine.

    • says

      Thanks Asmita – it’s funny, I didn’t actually know you could get powdered gelatin until recently, hehe. It’s strange how things can be so different between different countries!

  11. says

    Hi Charles,

    Love the idea of some retro jelly!! Reminds me of the time many, many years ago when I lived in Paris and visited Marks and Spencer when they were on Boulevard Haussmann. On one particular day, the store were promoting ‘English Jelly’ and various French people had enthusiastically bought the little packets of the cubes and then were complaining that it was too tough and nothing like ‘English jelly’. I can still remember the look of incredulity on the faces of some of the disappointed customers as a member of the M & S staff desperately tried to explain that they needed to tear the cubes up, then pour boiling water on them and stir it all in and wait for it to cool and set before it would become ‘English jelly’…

    • says

      Bwahaha – I can totally see that 😀 M&S actually closed down in France for some time, but they’ve now opened up again which is awesome – apparently they had a massive queue on opening night for people wanting to have some “M&S awesomeness” 😀

  12. says

    oooh wine jelly! grown up jelly for sure 😉 I love jelly, as a kid and even now. i know soem people aren’t a fan of wobbly slippery textures, but I love it. a lot of chinese dessert soups have ingredients that are liek that, white fungus for instance, which I adore, but can imagine many people here hating. don’t fret about the pattern on top, taste always matters much more than looks, and to be honest, I just thought it was a fancy mould! (:

    • says

      Thanks Shuhan – haters gonna hate I guess 😀 To be honest I’m so much a fan of “non-sweet” jellies. My wife was telling me about some weird sounding Swedish thing which consists of boilng up a pig’s foot and then letting it set to a jelly. Hmm, not sure about that one, but sweet jellies – I’m all about those :)

      • says

        The jelly is called “head cheese” and usually made using a pig’s head, which is where the name comes from. They even made it here in Canada and you can buy it ready made in most delis. In the UK they call it ‘brawn’ and there’s a version called ‘souse’ made with vinegar according to wikipedia. I don’t know if my parents ever made it with pig’s feet though.

        • says

          Just the name alone makes me never, ever want to eat it :p

          There was another recipe which looked quite nice which my wife showed me though which was a savoury jelly with shrimp and egg inside. I’m so used to sweet jelly I think I’d find it weird to eat but it at least looked and sounded appetising.

  13. says

    Beautiful jelly – perfect for summer even though it still feels like winter! The flours look really interesting and I cant wait to see what you do with them. I would love to get hold of chestnut flour. Kamut flour was the only one I’d never heard of but now I have :) Have a great weekend!

    • says

      Thanks BakingAddict – I used some of the chestnut flour today and it’s amazing. I’d really recommend trying to track some down. Grainy and nutty… such a gorgeous flavour and texture!

  14. says

    That’s quite a stash of flour you’ve got there Charles. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! The red wine jelly looks lovely and I like the fact that it is almost healthy. I’m starting to scale back on the sweets, so this could be a good one to satisfy my sweet tooth.

    BTW — I had to look up a macaroon mat, after you mentioned that it was the backdrop of your recent photo. I didn’t know you could get those. I’d really like to try making macaroons one of these days…and it I like it I may need to get a mat too!

    • says

      Thanks Barb – let me know if you can’t find one, or at least can’t find a decently priced one. I bought two for €5 each from my local supermarket. Bargain – I’d be happy to send one over :) Now I’m just wondering something else though. Because they’re so thin and flexible… how does one put them in the oven. Do you put them on something first, or just as they are on the bars? Hrm…

      • says

        That is so nice of you to offer Charles. I’ll check them out, but I can’t imagine they’d be a lot more expensive here. I’m definitely thinking that you would put them on a baking sheet or pan before putting them in the oven — the same way you would with a silpat. I just bought some new piping bags and large tips — so I’m all set on that side of things. I’ll also need to wait for a bit, now that I’m off sweets (temporarily of course!)

  15. says

    I grew up with fruit jelly, and it’s my favorite low calorie dessert. I had tried wine jelly a couple of times in Japan but they didn’t have strawberry in it! This is really cool and looks delicious. You are right – time for adults to enjoy jelly more!

    • says

      Hi Nami – I had no idea jelly was common in Japan – I never had it or saw it the times I was there. Nice to know that it’s popular in other places too. I get scornful looks when I talk about it in my office, lol. Well, they just don’t know what they’re missing :)

  16. says

    We had a lot of fruit filled jellos (where I live) on our dinner table. It was cheap, easy to make and I thought – quite delicious. Of course my mom didn’t go through near the process. She just opened up a box of jello and dumped in a can of fruit cocktail. Your jelly looks like a real dessert! The combination of grape fruit and wine sounds quite tasty. Great jelly! What a lucky man you are to have gotten that beautiful assortment of grains!

    • says

      Thanks MJ – I actually found the process not too laborious at all. If one wasn’t adding fresh fruit it would be pretty fast, but I agree – of course, not as fast as making a more “instant” variety. Looking forward to using my flours… going to try the quinoa flour tomorrow. I bet that will have a great flavour.

  17. says

    What a wonderful and refreshing recipe, Charles. Jell-O brands used to do a lot of advertising in North America with a slogan “There’s always room for Jell-O” which I thought was rather clever. Reading your post really took me back, thanks for that (always nice to remember these times which you would normally forget)
    The 70’s was a huge time for jello and my Mom made all sorts of versions of it. One in particular I think was called Moog, which used milk instead of the cold water in the recipe. It gave the jello a slightly creamier texture, or you could substitute vanilla ice cream, or whipping cream or even yogurt. I haven’t thought of moog forever! There was another (which we never made) with mini marshmallows (it was a church recipe, BLEH!). One I particularly enjoyed was a savoury version made with tomatoes and a touch of vinegar and sugar to offset the acidity, I think we used tomato juice as the flavour base.
    PS. I was sure I had posted a comment similar to this when your post came live, not sure why it didn’t stick. I am getting quite annoyed with wordpress, as it forces me to use my login which no longer connects my name back to my blog…any suggestions?

    • says

      Hi Eva – I think there is always room for Jell-O – it’s incredibly light, but at the same time has a very satisfying consistency to it. Eating a bowl of it for dessert isn’t bad for the diet but you still get to feel like you’ve had a nice dessert. I can’t imagine at all what milk jelly must be like. I can imagine that if you mix it with some strawberry juice it must be really delicious though so I’ll have to remember this!

      Savoury jellies are something I hope to get to sometime in the not too distant future, although I’m so used to them being sweet that I think it will require quite some motivation on my part to try it. Wobbly savoury stuff seems so much less appetising than wobble sweet stuff, but I guess it’s because I’m just not used to it :)

      Your previous comment was actually sorted into my spam comments – I’m sorry about that. I rarely check the spam comments because the plugin “Akismet” does such a great job at filtering out the good from the bad but I had a look now and there it was. I “Un-spammed” it and it’s pending now… I can publish that one as well (or instead) if you like, or just not worry since you wrote it again.

      As for WordPress – I was going to use the plugin “Jetpack” on my site for the comments system and had to create a account just to even get a preview of what it looks like which was annoying and then – the horror – I noticed that I had to log in to leave comments on sites which at first was hugely annoying but you can configure it to connect back to your blog. If you go to your Profile and then click on “Personal Settings” (this link should work for you if you’re logged in – there’s a section at the bottom of the page which asks for your website and says “Automatically linked when you make comments.” so you can fix it up there :) – hope it helps!

  18. says

    In one of our favorite movies the jello moves across the table under its own will. That said, wine and berries… I think I’d love this. I see gelatin in a lot of recipes.

  19. says

    Great looking jelly, as we call it “jell-o” in the states! Still looks great even though you had some difficulties with the wine and fruit interfering with the gelling process…..that’s when it comes down to food science!

    • says

      Hi Karen – you’re lucky… I’d love to see jellies on restaurant menus here. Courses are always so big. Not much chance of getting a jelly in France I fancy though 😀

  20. says

    I never liked jelly as kid, it was too jelly (u know what I mean).
    After that I had a phaze were I couldnt stop having that stuff. That day I made some chikoo jelly dessert, which was a total flop cause the chikoo was sticking like chikle, and since that I dislike jelly again. maybe its the indian jelly around here, they sell only powder and I prefer the sheets, much easier to handle…

    I have to be honest charles, but I am not totaly convinced of your red wine jelly. maybe if u prepare it for us one day,… then who knows,… I might even love it then. 😉

    • says

      Hi Helene – I did think it wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste :) I hope you’d give it a try if you ever had the chance of trying it once… I think you would change your mind because it’s so tasty!

      I’m really wondering… what’s chikoo and chikle? I’ve never heard of them at all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *